Friday, June 19, 2015

Ink Lipquids from THEFACESHOP: First Impressions!

THEFACESHOP has launched a series of 12 new water-based liquid lipsticks called "Ink Lipquids" in Singapore this month. I was pretty excited about that nifty little press box containing 3 shades, but many brands have already launched their own gel/liquid lip products, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect.

It's designed to have the richness of lipstick, the moisture of gloss, and the long-lasting wear of lip tints. I do agree it delivers on the rich pigmentation if you apply it properly, and it's relatively moist compared to most gloss stains. As for long-wear, I will say it lasts longer than glosses and sheer lipsticks, but it still wipes right off with tissue so I'm not entirely sure about the 12 hour claim.

(That's a claim that can almost never be tested because - who wants to leave lip color on for 12 hours with zero touch-ups? Whatever's left won't look good anyway, so I wouldn't worry about things lasting that long.) It leaves a light stain on the lips, but nothing as strong or dark as YSL.

Like YSL's Glossy Stains, this has an "ink staying polymer" which is meant to keep the film moist and fresh longer. Where I will say it wins most of the glossy stains on the market is it has moisture-binders to provide a bit of additional hydration.

The name itself is one of those things that looks cool, but sounds silly if you ever try to pronounce it. Lip + Liquid = Lip:quid, and these come in dark, matte-black tubes with a see-through slit for you to check the color of the product (and hopefully notice before you run out).

What's probably most interesting is the fact that the vibrant color pigments are extracted from flowers, not liquid dyes. Pink and Purple tones came from willow herb, Beige, Coral and Orange from saffron, and Red and Brown tones from apple blossom.

I don't have all 12 shades to swatch, so I've included the Pantone shades here. Then again, do remember that the shades do DARKEN SLIGHTLY after set, so they become much closer to the Pantone swatches below. 

The 3 shades I received were
PK03 - warm coral-tinged pink
OR02 - vivid orange
RD02 - bright scarlet with a warm undertone

THEFACESHOP Ink Lip:quid swatches

I took these photos in pretty bright light, so they are a touch deeper and closer to the Pantone color boxes in real life.

I was pleasantly surprised by PK03 because when I saw the tube I had expected it to be overly bright, overly pastel, and completely unflattering. Surprisingly it's very pretty and wearable. 

OR02 of course, I love. This is one of those startling acidic oranges (like OCC Beta or MAC Morange) that's a conversation starter when you wear it out. It's impossible not to notice your lips.
But it's not just outlandish; it's also actually quite flattering on Asian skintones.

Lastly, it's hard to go wrong with the classic bright red, although I have to say this is the darkest/strongest shade of the 12 available in Singapore, so if you are looking for a dark red or wine, plum, etc, you're out of luck. 

These are a bit more liquid than YSL Glossy Stains. They do feel quite light and comfortable on the lips, and have a high gloss (as you can see above), but do take note that if you press your lips together after the product sets, you will remove a lot of that lacquered shine and end up with a less glossy finish.

The applicator has a nice shallow dip in the slanted side, so it picks up about enough product to apply a thin coat over the entire mouth. But if you want that full lacquered look, you will probably need to redip in the tube. 

Here's my "routine" for getting a more even and professional-looking application.

It's easier to get a nice neat edge if the applicator is not overloaded with product. So try to dab off most of the excess on your bottom lip first while you work on the top lip, and you can have maximum control when you're working on your top lip.

After you get the base layer on and your "borders" all mapped out neatly, THEN you can start building up color intesnsity.

When you are building up the extra coat of color, the applicator can rub product off the center and push it out towards the edges, making the color look uneven. But rolling your lips together gently once or twice can evenly spread and smooth the product out. If too much congeals at or goes outside your lip line, just use a finger to lightly blot the excess away.

NOTE: Don't press your lips together too many times. The product will "set" quite quickly, so if you keep rolling your lips you will end up creating a more matte look. Once it more or less looks even, stop. 

Do I like these?
Yes, especially when I'm looking for slightly more dramatic color.
These are much more pigmented than the LANEIGE or Innisfree glossy stains, which are translucent. In fact, I consider them a little closer to Dior Fluidsticks in texture and finish, although these feel a little thinner.

That's a pro and a con, cos they are more comfortable to wear, but also don't retain that glossy lacquered look as long as products that set thicker. Even if it can last 12 hours like THEFACESHOP promises, it's unlikely it can stay looking good for 12 whole hours without touchups.

I do like the fact that they've used plant pigments and added hydrating ingredients. Liquid lipsticks are not a new concept, but this is probably one of the few options available for those who are concerned about using more natural ingredients.

Is it ground-breaking or life-changing? Nope. But it's a very good liquid lipstick option, and definitely worth a look considering they are $17.90 each in Sg.


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